Cyanide Tea (A Hollow Grove Story)

Caleb Knight was assigned to make an inquiry at 341 Ghoul Street at the behest of a Dr. Anthony Winslow. Winslow called the Hollow Grove Police Department yesterday to inform them of a disturbance concerning his past patient, Mr. Harold Millebrand.

Upon questioning, Winslow couldn’t say what particularly disturbed him. He hemmed and hawed on the phone about a certain malevolence he detected within but offered no particulars about its nature other than he strongly believed that some form of abuse was being inflicted on his patient. Similar calls have been made in the last two days by neighbors that, at first, seemed nothing more than general smell complaints and nosy queries about alternative supernatural lifestyles.

His boss, Chief Ebenezer Sloan, was nonchalant about the whole affair when he called Caleb into his office to assign him the case.

Sloan took a pull of his thick cigar. “I would guess it some minor spiritual disturbance. Shouldn’t take too long to know if we should get the exorcist division on it.”

“And what would make it a major disturbance, sir?” Caleb said feeling dumb for asking the obvious. Most of the cases passed onto him were of that inane yet baffling nature that made him always feel that way.

Sloan shrugged. “I wouldn’t worry about that until you get there. Not too much noise has been made about it yet. The neighbors just say something’s funny about the place.”

“And they weren’t specific either.”

Sloan smiled. “Doesn’t hurt to check it out. Make sure you take a good whiff of the place before reporting back.”

Caleb decided to let that one go. He forced a smile before taking his leave.

Ghoul Street was one of the more affluent neighborhoods in Hollow Grove. The streets were lined with two-story brownstones with manicured little gardens and tree canopies flush with autumn colors. Carriages and Model Ts were parked along the side and the sidewalks were crowded with families leisurely laughing and conversing.

It was the type of neighborhood where the people could instantly tell if something was out of place. But also the type of place where breaches of normalcy within were more likely talked about than confronted. Still, everyone he passed in the street gave him a curious brow as he found 341.

From appearances alone, there was nothing unusual about the place. It looked like every other house on the street with a small concrete stairwell leading up to the door. But looks were often deceiving.

There was a smell but it was rather muted. It reminded him of rotting fruit and could be a simple issue of not being timely with trash removal. But there was another note to it that unsettled him. He couldn’t put his finger on it and he wasn’t going to make a scene trying to.

He adjusted his hat and the collar of his coat before making his way to the door. On the first step, he caught something familiar and he was instantly annoyed.

Caleb’s eyes shifted and there he was. Vincent was leaning against the light pole, a newspaper pressed to his nose.

“What are you doing here?”

Vincent smiled at him as he neatly folded his paper down the middle. “Just happened to be in the neighborhood.”

“Bullshit.”

“Are you working now?”

Caleb screwed up his face. Vincent has gotten into the bad habit of following him around on his police rounds. This was especially problematic since he was under investigation for identity misclassification–a crime that’s particularly hard to nail someone on when you couldn’t classify them. Whatever he was, he had an annoying prescience for where anyone would be at any given time which made booze raids on Ms. Brunner’s place a particular nightmare.

Caleb pointed at him, “I’ll book you on obstruction, Valero.”

He tilted his head, “You wouldn’t deny me the pleasure of paying back harassment in kind, would you?”

Caleb turned on him and continued moving up the stair. He would just ignore him.

Caleb raised his hand to knock but a buzz echoed beyond the door. Vincent pulled away from under him, brushing himself off as he straightened.

Caleb shot him a look.

Vincent shrugged with a smile that looked all the more punchable. “You’re really going to book me for using a  doorbell.”

Caleb started to say something when the door clicked. An elderly woman stepped through. She was small, perhaps 5’4, caucasian, with bunned up white hair and a sedate maroon dress with a sprinkling of gold yellow flowers along the hemlines. Judging from her powerful perfume and the fineness of her fabric,  she must be the lady of the house.

Vincent’s eyes lighted as he took her in with a smile. “Oh, you’ll be fun.”

The woman clapped her hands together. “You must be the new help!”

Caleb cleared his throat. That was a typical response. Being part of the “plainclothes division,” the police department didn’t see a pressing need to supply him a uniform. He had to make due with his white button up and black vest. Despite this, due to his general appearance he couldn’t avoid the implication of more menial labor.

“No, mam. I’m Detective Knight,” He pulled his badge from his pocket and presented it to her. “Are you the lady of the house?”

“Yes, Kathleen Millebrand. Harold’s my husband,” she said still looking rather bewildered.

Vincent took off his hat and bowed. “Vincent Valero, miss. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

She ignored him, the confusion imprinting itself deeper into her brow. She looked at Caleb again.

“Detective?”

“I’m here to investigate reports of a disturbance around the area. Both Dr. Winslow and a few of your neighbors mentioned something was off?”

Her eyes lighted and she smiled again. “Oh, you must be here because of Harold!”

“That…would be correct,” Caleb said with some hesitation.

“Oh, I see now,” she said with a nod. “Harold must have called you about those naughty boys up the street. Always making noises with their wild parties.”

“Umm–”

Vincent looked at her questioningly, “When did you last hear them, mam?”

“Oh, when don’t we hear them?  They’re always causing a big stink every night. It’s been a real burden on Harold’s health.”

Vincent inclined his head. “How interesting. It must be impossible for either of you to find peace in such an environment.”

“Aye, sir.”

She waved them in. “Do come in. Harold’ll be waiting for you in the parlor.”

They both removed their hats as they stepped in but Caleb’s kneejerk reaction was to run outside again. A sudden stink assailed his nose as soon as he crossed the threshold. The sweetness that he detected before was lost in something more rotten and putrid. He couldn’t stop himself from burying his nose deep in the crook of his arm.

“What’s the matter, Detective?” Mrs. Millebrand inquired innocently.

Vincent held his finger up to his nose. “Cal suffers from a weak constitution, mam. Nothing to get concerned over.”

“How strange. You would think an officer would be more equipped for such things.” She put a soft hand on his shoulder. “Would you like some smelling salts, dear?”

Caleb removed his arm from his face with great difficulty. The smell continued to assault him from all sides but emanated most profoundly ahead. He could feel bile percolating at the bottom of his throat.

He swallowed it down with a smile. “I’m fine, mam.”

“If you say so dear,” She marched forward. “Harold’s in here.”

The inside of the house also appeared to be the typical abode for someone of the Millebrand’s social class. It had polished wooden floors, long red and brown carpets with intricate patterns and a multitude of pictures hanging along the walls detailing the lives of the couple. The only thing off was the smell which got worse the closer they got to the parlor.

“Harold,” She intoned sweetly. “The police are here to see you.”

What they saw was a grisly sight. Harold was there but Harold was dead.  The rotund man was sitting in a burgundy couch, his lower half covered by a heavy stitch blanket. His skin was a grayish green with hints of purple eating into his fingers, his neck, his shoulder. The layer beneath his skin was crawling with maggots. Caleb could see the wriggling bits of rice eating into the man’s ear canal.  His eyes were wide open–the whites now a yellowish green with red veins etched throughout like spiderwebs. Most confounding of all was the man’s mouth. It was sewn shut with thick black string stitched in a zigzag pattern over his lips.

“Please pardon Harold,” She said as she stroked the corpse’s cheek affectionately. “He can’t talk much because of the major operation he had on his jaw last week.”

“Last week,” Caleb whispered aghast.

“Yes, our doctor was supposed to remove the wires yesterday but said he hasn’t quite recovered.”

Caleb didn’t imagine he would.

“Your physician is Dr. Winslow, correct?”

“He is indeed.”

Caleb sucked in his lip. Turns out the disturbance Winslow reported was quite disturbing. The pieces were starting to click together but he couldn’t help but wonder why the doctor wasn’t straight about the issue.

“Well, I’ll stop talking,” Mrs. Millebrand started skipping out the room. “I’ll make you boys some tea while you discuss official matters.”

She then disappeared down the hallway.

Vincent bent down and walked to what was formerly Mr. Harold Millebrand. When he got within inches of his rotting face, he clicked his teeth.

“Oh, you poor bastard.”

Caleb tried to get some distance. He wasn’t quite sure how much of this smell he could take before violently retching.

“I need to call headquarters. This entire house needs to be decontaminated and the body burned.”

“Our dear friend Harold isn’t dead, Cal.”

“Not dead,” he snapped back to him. “Are you as blind as–!”

Mr. Millebrand’s eyes shifted with an audible squick. Caleb cringed inwardly as his half-eaten eyeballs focused on them and a low guttural moan churned in his throat.

Caleb braced himself against the wall to fight against the nausea creeping up again. It was a battle he was losing little by little.

He cleared his throat. “He’s a zombie.”

“Appears so.”

“Why is he so decomposed?”

“I’m not sure.” Vincent rose and inclined his head as he examined the corpse. “But he’s hardly left this spot for however long he’s been dead. The couch is thoroughly soiled with decomp juices. Seems an utter waste of such beautiful upholstery if you ask me.”

“This is serious, Vincent.”

He gave him a sly smile. “I know.”

Mr. Millebrand groaned again as he attempted movement. He flexed his blackened fingers and tilted his head back. There were hints of some vile spittle making its way down his chin.

The floorboards creaked as Vincent leaned in closer. “I think he’s trying to tell us something.”

Mrs. Millebrand walked in with a tray decorated with a pastel teapot, three small teacups, and meticulously crafted spoons. There was also a rather conspicuous dark amber bottle set in the corner.

“I’ve brought some black tea and a bit of brandy to liven it up for you.”

Vincent held his hand over his heart. “Mrs. Kathleen Millebrand, you’re a woman after my own heart.”

“I hope you have a prescription for that liquor, madam,” Caleb said with an edge.

“Prescription?”

Vincent all too eagerly took the tray from Millebrand and set it on the coffee table.

“Pay no mind to him, mam. You know these officer types. They’re required to at least inquire after these sort of things.”

“Because it’s federal law,” Caleb added harshly.

Vincent waved him off as he poured himself a cup, half tea, half brandy. Despite the blatant violation, Caleb was more put off by how he was able to consume anything in this stink. Vincent might not be able to smell it as strongly as he could but this level of rot had to be overpowering to anyone.

Vincent made himself comfortable in the loveseat in front of Mr. Millebrand.

He stirred his tea. “Tell me, Mrs. Millebrand, how long has your husband been indisposed?”

She sighed as she took the seat across from him.

She stared longingly at the corpse. “Poor Harold hasn’t been able to walk since fighting in the war. A German mine blew his legs clean off in France.”

“God bless him for his service and to his continued health.”

“Amen to that, sir.”

Caleb shot him a look and Vincent smiled as he took a sip of tea.

Mrs. Millebrand eyes flew to him. “Please feel free to sit down, Detective.”

Caleb shrank a little further into the hallway. The idea getting close to that thing…He felt he was about to–

“May I use your washroom, Mrs. Millebrand!” he blurted out.

“Of course. It’s the furthest door to the right.”

He muttered his thanks as he paced away. Even at this distance, he couldn’t get the smell out of his nose. He slammed the door behind him and opened the window to the alley. The fresh air did little to alleviate the overwhelming nausea swimming in his center. He bent over the toilet and gave into it.

When he was all done, he pulled the lever and freshened himself up. He didn’t feel any better but at least if he felt the urge again there would be nothing to cough up.

His eyes traveled back to the window and he could see eyes staring back at him from the house across the way. She was a black maid, her hair tied back with a white bonnet. She was mouthing something at him, as she pointed out the frame.

Get out.

Why? He mouthed back.

She mouthed something else but he couldn’t read her lips.

What?

She shook her head and disappeared to her right.

It was enough to convince Caleb that he needed to end this affair. When he got back to the parlor, Vincent was the only one there.

“Where’s Mrs. Millebrand?”

“She’s getting cookies from the kitchen.” He glared at the teacup. “But if they’re as good as her tea, I might pass on them. If it wasn’t for the brandy, this would be absolutely undrinkable.”

“Then why are you drinking it?”

He sighed with a look that feigned disappointment. “Unlike you, I’m trying to be a good guest. It’s really impolite to shoot dirty looks at our hosts when they’ve been nothing but hospitable.”

“It’s really hard to be pleasant with something stinking up the room.” Caleb raised up his hand. “No offense.”

Mr. Millebrand shrugged.

“Besides, I can’t even stomach the idea of food.”

Vincent raised an eyebrow. “Did you go sick in the washroom?”

“I honestly don’t know how she can stand it. Husband or no, all zombies need to be interred for this exact reason.”

Vincent held the cup to his lip. “She doesn’t know.”

“What do you mean she doesn’t know?”

He smiled at him. “She hasn’t the slightest idea.”

Mrs. Millebrand came skipping back into the room with a platter of cookies in her hand.

“I baked these this morning,” she beamed as she placed platter on the coffee table. “Snickerdoodles. Just the way Harold liked them.”

Caleb straightened. “Mrs. Millebrand, I regret to inform you that your husband has gone foul.”

“Excuse me?”

Caleb sighed through his nose. “City ordinance dictates that when a person zombifies they must be relocated to a house plot in the town’s periphery. They can’t continue residence with the living because they present a serious health risk to their surroundings.”

She blinked bewildered. “But…but Harold isn’t dead.”

Caleb pointed. “Madam, do you not see the bugs eating away at him?”

She waved her hand dismissively. “Oh, we’ve always had bug trouble. Pest control was supposed to come in on Tuesday–”

“Mrs. Millebrand, I know this may be difficult to hear–”

“Now you listen here, Detective,” she said with a stamp of her foot and wag of her finger. “Dr. Winslow was in here just yesterday and certified that my husband was the picture of perfect health.”

“Did he say those words exactly?”

“He says he has never seen anyone in such a unique condition.”

Caleb took a second or two to stare at her. “That could mean many things, mam.”

Vincent suddenly stood. “Cal!”

“What is it now?” Caleb snapped.

But he was thrown off by Vincent’s expression. His face was a little ashen and twisted in pain.

“Don’t…drink the tea.”

He crumpled to the ground taking the coffee table, tea set and cookies as a casualty with him. Precious porcelain shattered on impact filling the immediate silence with a great crash of noise. The tea seeped black in the light brown carpet.

Another silence crept back into the room. Vincent didn’t move–didn’t so much as twitch again. Caleb stepped over the mess and held two fingers to the underside of his jaw.

Nothing.

“Mrs. Millebrand,” Caleb raised his head slowly and turned to her. “Did you happen to lace the tea with poison?”

“Heavens no!”

Caleb picked up a prominent piece of the shattered teapot and held it up to his nose. There was something more sinister under the smell of overcooked tea leaves. It was so unmistakable that he probably would’ve detected it sooner if it wasn’t for the smell of decay that hung thick about the place.

“Cyanide.”

“Cyanide?” Mrs. Millebrand repeated confused. “Oh, that’s one of those bitters Harold liked to drink with his tea and tonics.”

“And…when was the last time you made him either?”

“Oh, Harold, bless him. He lost his appetite for most things last week. I haven’t made him a drink since then.”

Caleb sighed as he massaged his nose. “ I need to use your phone.”

“Do you think your friend would like a pillow?”

The phone, madam.”

Mrs. Millebrand suddenly looked very uncomfortable. She rubbed her hands together and looked at the floor.

“Oh dear,” her voice quivered. “Harold bought me that tea set for our 20th anniversary. Now it’s all ruined. Ruined.”

Caleb started to feel uneasy. The old lady was just dithering but there was something in her voice that made his hair stand on end.

Mr. Millebrand moaned again. The maggots in his throat looked as if they were thrown into a frenzy. His purpling skin opened a little and leaked onto his dirty shirt collar.

Caleb hand flew to his mouth as another upshot of bile snuck up on him. He took a few steps back into the hallway.

Mrs. Millebrand shook her head sorrowfully. “Oh, Harold.”

She yanked a handkerchief out of her bosom as she stepped towards him, casually stepping over Vincent’s body along the way. She wiped away the little weevils, dabbing the clean cloth on his delicate, rotting skin. Caleb saw a bug or two use her finger as a bridge to her dress sleeve.

“You really shouldn’t drool when we have guests, Harold.”

“Madam,” Caleb said firmly. “Your husband is being eaten alive. It would be an absolute cruelty on your part to continue his existence here where he’s poisoning the air with his decay.”

She slowly raised her head, locking eyes with him. Her dark pupils were filled with a chilling coldness, her mouth a straight line.

“You want to take Harold away?”

The lights dimmed perceptively for an instant. She straightened to her full height, clutching her handkerchief with a shaking fist. But her expression didn’t change.

Caleb took a step back. The sharp smell of cold penetrated his nostrils and made his eyes water.

His hand instinctively went to the revolver at his hip. He turned towards the exit but the carpet slipped out from his feet. He braced his shoulder for impact when he hit the ground.

As he rose, he felt a shooting pain in his leg. Mrs. Millebrand had her fingernails digging into his skin. She now had a more pallor aspect. Black rimmed her eyes and there was a gauntness to her cheeks. Her corporeal anomaly meant that Mrs. Millebrand must have been possessed by a Level 3 poltergeist.

“Harold hasn’t had anything to eat since the doctor’s sewn his mouth shut,” she mused innocently. She took up a piece of jagged porcelain. “Perhaps this little meat could be cooked down to something more soft and palatable.”

She hovered over him, the jagged piece of porcelain held just so for quick slicing. She was going for his neck and kept him down with a strength unusual for an old woman her size. The coldness of her skin came off her in waves.

Caleb reached hurriedly in his back pocket for a small vial of Holy Water. It was standard operating procedure to keep some handy just in case one should encounter a spiritual aberration. Since spiritual deviations have become a major problem for the police in the few years, it became imperative that some field officers carry it.

He uncorked the small bottle with his teeth and sprayed it on her. This seemed to only mildly irritate her. Her arms rashed over a little before healing.

Okay, a bit more aggressive evasive action then. He kicked the small old woman in the jaw with a sickening crack. This loosened her grip just enough for him to wrestle himself free and run towards the door.

He turned the knob but it was stuck. He checked the lock and it was unbolted yet grossly rusted over. Bits of chipping metal cut his finger.

“Detective?”

Caleb looked over his shoulder and Mrs. Millebrand stood meekly a ways down the hall. Her head was cocked left unnaturally as she wrung her fingers.

She paced towards him quickly. “Leaving so soon?”

Caleb slammed his shoulder against the door but it remained closed. He reached into his pocket and, just as Mrs. Millebrand got within grabbing distance, smashed a vial of salts against her head. Bits of flesh started melting away instantly. She let out a high pitch scream as she crumpled to her knees, scratching away at the salts that continued to burn into her. The air filled with the unpleasant smell of burning hair and skin.

He didn’t have long.

He raced back in the direction of the parlor. He was going to try for the window in the bathroom. It looked relatively normal when he peered through it. At the very least, he could signal someone in the other house to call for backup.

But first…

He stuck his head in the parlor. “Are you done playing dead yet?”

Vincent groaned, clutching his stomach as he slowly rose to his knees.

“I’ll have you know that the poisoning was real.”

“You had to have known that it was poisoned after the first sip.”

Vincent brushed himself off.

“Evil spirit or no, I’m not one to be rude to a polite host.” He shot Caleb a look. “Not only are you a bad guest, you’re a worst friend. Were you really going to leave me here?”

“In my humble opinion, you would’ve deserved whatever came to you,” Caleb deadpanned.

Vincent made an offended gesture.

In the corner of his eye, Caleb could see Mrs. Millebrand rising bolt straight from the ground. The uncanniness was accentuated by the lights flickering.

“We need to get to the bathroom.”

Vincent pushed past him. “The kitchen would be better.”

The kitchen was down a wide passage to the left. It sported an open space with a cast iron oven on the right and a small dining table in the center. There was also a small window on the back wall above the counter. It had a pleasant view of the next house’s brick side.

Caleb rushed the window but found that it wouldn’t budge either. On inspecting the pane, it looked aged from disuse.

“Well, so much for your idea,” Caleb said as he beat his hand against the frame.

“The spirit has full control of the house. We can’t leave if she doesn’t want us to.”

Caleb tested a fist against the glass. It felt solid. Any more force would end up breaking his hand.

“Well, that’s just perfect.” Caleb paced back towards the hallway. “We could perhaps get help. There’s a maid across the way–”

“It won’t do any good,” Vincent cut in casually as he walked past him. “While she’s in that state, anyone can enter, no one can leave.”

Vincent leisurely walked over to the oven and pulled a single cigarette from his breast pocket. He turned on the gas stove with a click and held the cigarette over an eye. It slowly smoldered until it caught, with smoke curling off the end.

“What are you doing?”

He turned another dial on the stove.

“Getting comfortable,” Vincent said while taking a few puffs.

“Don’t.”

Vincent slowly strolled past him and settled at the kitchen table.

“There you boys are.” Mrs. Millebrand reappeared at the kitchen entrance. Her face still burned from the salts.

She frowned at them. “You’ve been rather rude guests.”

Vincent smiled. “Our sincerest apologies, mam. Unfortunately, neither of us are quite in the mood for death yet.”

Caleb heard the faint sound of wood splintering–crack! He hit the floor, just barely missing the parade of glittering kitchen knives aimed for his head.

He looked up in time to see Vincent wincing from having one of the weapons plunged into his chest. With a  shaking hand and staggering breath, he pulled out the carving knife and let it fall to the floor with a clatter. A good amount of blood stained his vest and the white kitchen tiles.

He stared daggers at Mrs. Millebrand while still keeping his smile.

“You had one freebie, darling. The second one is going to cost you.”

“You boys are certainly resilient. Perhaps more of a whipping is in order.”

Vincent cocked his head. “Hmm. I usually do enjoy a good whipping.”

There was a muffled scream that shocked the room into silence. It made Caleb’s heart ache by how tortured and pained it sounded.

Mrs. Millebrand eyebrows drew together as her eyes flicked about her.

“Harold?”

The scream came again, louder and more insistent. It was followed by hands beating frantically against metal.

Caleb’s eyes flew to the cast iron stove. There was a fire roaring in its main chamber and something was charring in the flames. Every knock he heard made the whole thing shake.

Mrs. Millebrand took a step towards it, her face panic-stricken.

“Harold?!”

“That’s not possible,” Caleb whispered.

He could still smell Mr. Millebrand’s putrid scent flooding in from the parlor. But it was hard to deny that someone was in there. The screams grew louder as the kitchen grew hot. They expressed such pain, such horror, that Caleb found himself shrinking away from it as he drew himself to his feet.

His eyes flicked to Vincent. He looked unbothered by the sound, the gleam in his eyes almost taking sinister delight in the horrific scene that played before him. He mouth blew rings at the players.

“Stop it.”

“Stop what?” Vincent took another pull of his cigarette.

Caleb took a step towards him. “I’m serious.”

Vincent’s eyes measured him slowly. “I see that.”

Caleb’s hand flew to his nose as he was overwhelmed by another smell–the smell of charred rotten meat. It was more ghastly, more revolting–

His eyes went back to the stove.  Black tallow dripped and bubbled from the oven’s grill slats and pooled on the tiles.

“HAROLD?!”

Mrs. Millebrand flew to the stove, undoing the latch in a panic.  Despite the waves of heat unleashed from the flames, she started to crawl in. Her skin sizzled as she crawled over the oven grille compounding the smell of cooking flesh.

Caleb couldn’t let this happen. Kathleen was still a victim of possession. Her corporeal form was evidence to a tie to the living that could be strengthened through proper exorcist rites.

He took a step forward but Vincent was already in front of him. The oven door was closed, the latch locked.

Screams echoed in the small metal container before quickly dying to the crackling flames.

“What did you–”

“The oven swung in after she walked in, Cal. I tried to undo it but the damned thing wouldn’t budge,” Vincent said as he put his cigarette out on the stove top.

He smiled at him as he took in Caleb’s expression. “She wasn’t alive if you’re worried about that. Her spirit was more tied to the house than her body. The flames undid both simultaneously.”

“How could you possibly know that?” Caleb spat.

Vincent started walking out. “You’ll have to borrow the neighbor’s phone for backup. See you at the Manor.”

Caleb watched him walk out with clenched fists.

Caleb was able to call the HG Police Department from the Etting residence after much gentle coaxing. The Ettings had a maid named Rose Potter, the same maid that waved at him frantically through the window. On further questioning as to the message she was trying to convey, she told him that strange things have been happening in that house for the last week.

“Mr. and Mrs. Etting won’t admit it but…” she paused keeping her head low and her hands scrunched up in her apron before continuing. “The Millebrands were always really curious folk but they got more curious in the last week.”

“How so?”

“Well, the missus of the house took to standing outside at night and there are boys that used to walk the streets. One day she invited them in but they never came out. I figured she did something to them. I don’t know.”

She did.

Under the floorboards which Mr. Millebrand sat was a small ditch of bodies. They rotted together, all with their heads cut off to prevent zombification.

Stranger still, Mr. Harold Millebrand himself had officially died during the course of their struggle. When Caleb got the stomach to finally walk out, Mr. Millebrand were wide open but there was no life in them. This was suspicious because usually, the only thing that naturally kills a zombie upon resurrection was if the body finally rotted away completely. Despite this putrid state, he still had a good few days before that happened. Sloan theorized that he was also tied to the house but Caleb wasn’t sure.

But that’s what officially went into the police report. Right along with that in a moment of delirium, Kathleen Millebrand purged her existence through fire.

But it couldn’t have been delirium because it was a delirium equally suffered. He saw and smelled Harold Millebrand cooking in that oven. The fact that he knew intrinsically that this wasn’t true but everything within his senses said otherwise troubled him.


Originally Posted on DeviantArt

October 30th 2017